Howard A. Hovland has contributed nearly half a century of leadership to adult education as a teacher, administrator, innovative professional practitioner, philanthropist and volunteer. He established the first Adult Literacy Basic Education Program in South Dakota in 1964, which became a state model.
By 1972, the adult basic education programs in South Dakota had grown to thirty-two. Hovland also established the South Dakota State Adult Education Association (now called the South Dakota Association of Lifelong Learning) in 1966, and became its first president.
Hovland began his career teaching adult evening classes in Sioux, Falls, South Dakota in1959, and became the supervisor of the Adult Evening and Community Education program which grew to 120 courses. In 1968, he brought together the state director of Adult Basic Education, the Department of Public Instruction, and South Dakota State University in a cooperative effort in Region VI to teach and train more people in the Adult Basic Education Program throughout the state.
In 1985, Hovland made a personal financial contribution to the Missouri Valley Adult Education Association (MVAEA). The contribution was for the establishment of a permanently endowed development fund for creative and relevant program services to provide annual awards to local memberships of a seven Midwestern state area. His financial contributions to the fund were increased with the establishment of an annual silent auction held at each annual conference. Since 1988 the fund has provided MVAEA annual awards.
In 1993, Hovland again contributed the initial funds challenging each of the seven state associations in the MVAEA region to develop their own permanently endowed development fund for annual awards. Each of the states developed permanent funding programs that give yearly awards to various adult education programs. The awards have resulted in significant contributions to the citizens in the MVAEA region through outstanding continuing education projects.
Hovland’s legacy has greatly influenced the lives of many adult students through his leadership, service and devotion to the growth of continuing education.
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